I’m a streamer, a gamer, and a technology savant. I have been streaming over on Twitch for the best part of six years (two years as full time), but when the opportunity to join Facebook Gaming ANZ as a Content Creator Partner came up, I was on it like a Kea snacking on a car windscreen wiper.
While in the process of moving to my new digital home, I was looking over my streaming kit and realising it was somewhat overdue for an upgrade. It had been pieced together from assorted manufacturers and while it had provided me with good service over the years, there’s a lot to be said for switching to a single ecosystem and taking advantage of a single vendor’s hub/app system.
Coincidentally, it was about this time that the team at Logitech and Blue mentioned they were keen to be part of my next streaming chapter and kindly sent over a kit for review – and having had a chance to put the gear through its paces, here are my thoughts.
I call this kit the “Semi-Pro Package”, and it contains:
- Logitech Pro X Wired DTS Headset with Blue Voice microphone (approx AUD$280/ NZD$250)
- Blue Yeti Blackout Edition microphone (about AUD$200/NZD$200)
- Logitech StreamCam (about AUD$200/NZD$200)
Basically, it’s everything a streamer needs to get to the next level of production with a solid foundation to work up from again
While you might think the most important part of a stream setup is the camera or the microphone, a decent headset is vital, especially because you also need it for playing the games you’re streaming. With that in mind, let’s start this overview with the Logitech Pro X headset.
Logitech headsets have a good reputation and having tried out the Pro X, I can see why.
Opening the box, you are met with everything you need to incorporate the headset into your gaming/streaming setup – namely:
- Pro X Gaming Headset
- Memory Foam & Leatherette ear pads
- Memory Foam & Cloth ear pads
- USB External Soundcard
- Detachable Mic
- 2m cable with inline volume and mute
- Mobile cable with button for actions on your mobile device
- Y splitter for separate mic and headphone ports
- A Neoprene carry bag
- User documentation and paperwork
The overall body construction of the headset is very much in line with what you would expect in the Pro series of products.
The headphone cup body is plastic with rubberised coating on the outside, on the ends of the headphones are a brushed metal finish with the Logitech G logo centre of the brush work, the forks that hold the cups to the headband a strong aluminium that sits nicely in the steel slides that the headband must keep it sturdy and comfortable. A nice thing for me as well is the curly style cable that goes from the headphone cup to the head band; it’s not a requirement but a very nice touch.
One thing I like over my previous headset is the ability to change what kind of ear cup material you want (personally, I like the leatherette material as it gives a more ridged feel and better seal around the ear).
Since Logitech and Blue are now very good friends, the headset supports Blue Voice (when using the supplied USB soundcard) through the Logitech G Hub App. In my testing (in office with air-conditioning on and music playing) this did a fair amount for signal cleaning.
While boosting the lows in my voice and giving the mids more presence you can still tell it’s a small microphone; it doesn’t do a lot to stop ambient noise and there are other tools (like Nvidia Broadcast) which will do a better job.
As for the overall sound for the headphones themselves, after doing some EQ tuning in Logitech G Hub I believe I found a sound profile for myself that has helped me identify sound cues in games like Escape from Tarkov, CS:GO, and Hunt: Showdown.
Sounds I believe I had missed or overlooked previously are now crisp and evident without being overwhelming. Logitech and Blue give you numerous “Professionals Profiles” that you can take and use for yourself, or use as a building block for customisation.
The Headphones are a closed back design giving you a much shorter sound stage as opposed to open back design however the Hybrid mesh PRO-G 50mm driver has no issues making it sound good across all fronts. The overall sound profile is warm and immersive regardless of whatever it is you may be doing.
If you were using an open back design beforehand, you may feel like you are wearing earmuffs the moment you put these on, but that feeling disappears once you have sound coming through – you may forget you even have them on.
The subject of sound gives us a good segue into the Blue Yeti Blackout Edition microphone – after all, none of your viewers can hear you without a microphone!
The box contains the mic, a desk stand and a Mini USB to USB-A (normal USB) cable. Yeah, a Mini USB cable. I was surprised too, especially given how fragile the Mini USB connection can be; I’d have thought Micro USB or USB-C would be the go. At the end of the day this doesn’t affect how the product performs, though; it’s just a personal thing from me.
Being greeted with a decent size microphone sitting in a weighty desktop stand, I was extremely impressed with how solid this felt, however to get the best out of it and to keep things close to how I had it previously, I decided to mount it to the same boom arm I had my old mic on.
Once the Yeti was out of the box and on the desk, I was able to give it a look over. The features on this mic are nothing short of incredibly useful – the Mute button is solid red when the mic is hot and flashes red when it’s muted – a very helpful reminder that no-one can hear you, so you shouldn’t be talking. Egg! (The other Kiwis reading this will get that humour).
The front has a volume knob if you have a headset plugged in directly to the mic ( eg for podcasting on the go), while on the back are two additional knobs – the first is gain and it is very useful.
Once you get all the levels sorted in your apps’ of choice, you can then use the gain option on the mic body itself without having to make changes in software – it just works.
The last knob is for something called Blue Microphones proprietary tri-capsule technology. What this means is there are three different microphone capsules that pick-up sound in up to 4 distinct patterns and you can switch these modes on the fly – a great feature that I think pushes the mic leaps and bounds ahead of others for this price point.
Now again, this product being both a Blue and Logitech product they are not only compatible with G Hub, but work best when using it.
Setting the mic up in G Hub is very easy – plug and play. As I mentioned earlier with Blue Voice, there are options there to structure your sound profile off what others have made and can tweak and change to what you like; they also have some voice changing tools that are basically just for fun.
Minor issue with the choice of USB connection aside, I’ve found the Blue Yeti to be a great microphone that does a fantastic job for the price range.
Last, but not least, is the Logitech StreamCam.
As our tech editor explained in his review, this is a straightforward, no mucking around product. What you see is what you get.
The Logitech StreamCam has the same field of view as its predecessor the C922, with 78 degrees left to right – or, if you want to go for the new style of streaming, you can turn the camera on its side (the mount supports clipping in this direction) and have quite a tall profile, good for getting that portrait style image of you hitting those mad headshots.
If your motherboard’s USB-C connector doesn’t support USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C direct connection, you will be limited to 1080p/30 FPS with the StreamCam – which is fine but not necessarily what you paid for, so do ensure your board’s USB-C connector supports that or you have a USB-C connector on your GPU first.
What gives the StreamCam its superior image quality is not only an upgraded optical sensor but also a bigger lens with a Premium Full HD Glass lens – the 3.7 mm focal length and 78° (diagonal) field of view put together, gives you a very good picture in all lighting situations.
After configuring OBS to use the StreamCam and adjusting my office lighting, the StreamCam absolutely does what is advertised and does it well; some might even say near DSLR quality.
The biggest challenge you’re likely to have with the Logitech StreamCam is actually finding one – they tend to sell out almost as quickly as they can be restocked.
When I initially set out to write this review, I wasn’t aware of just how much technology had changed in the four years I had been a streamer. I’ve been very impressed by the three products Logitech/Blue have provided, and from personal experience can say that if you’ve been running the same gear for a while, want to up your game and you have some pocket money to invest, then for around $600 you can get three pieces of kit that will help take you to a whole other level.
Not only will you feel better in yourself knowing you’re using quality but (relatively) affordable gear to make the most of the effort you’re putting in, but your community will love you for it, too!